It began with two leaders blaming each other for governance, or rather the lack of it, and then as the days rolled by, it hurtled into a full-blown war of words.
Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and Samajwadi Party (SP) President Akhilesh Yadav have been taking pot shots at each other at an alarming frequency, and election campaigning in Uttar Pradesh has already turned into a political slugfest.
It began with the Chief Minister slamming the 'parivarvad' or dynastic politics at a news conclave and then going on to refer to veteran SP leader Mulayam Singh Yadav as 'abbajaan'.
The Chief Minister repeatedly said, "My family is the state's 25 crore people, while for some their own clan was the state. Some have worked only for the welfare of their family, while we have worked for the welfare of the entire state."
Akhilesh has now taken potshots at Adityanath, saying that "those who have no family, cannot care for the people".
Akhilesh also reacted strongly to the 'abbajaan' jibe, and told Adityanath not to get personal or else he would get a taste of his own medicine soon.
The 'abbajaan' remark was apparently aimed at the alleged Muslim appeasement policies of SP since 'abbajaan' is a term used mainly by Muslims.
While the BJP and the SP battled over the propriety of 'abbajaan', the two leaders went a step ahead.
Adityanath took a dig at the SP-BSP alliance of 2019 by referring to Akhilesh and Mayawati as 'Bua-Babua' -- Babua being a term of endearment for son in eastern UP.
Akhilesh returned the fire by saying that it was time to say 'bye bye' to 'Baba' -- a term used for saints.
'Baba' and 'Bua-Babua' are now terms frequently used by the two parties and their leaders.
"Babua yeh Twitter hi vote dega," said the Chief Minister referring to Akhilesh's tweets.
After Akhilesh made a statement on Jinnah, Adityanath grabbed the opportunity to refer to the Samajwadi Party as 'Jinnah-wadi Party'.
In between, references to 'Kabristan' and 'Shamshaan' also sneaked in to add a sinister angle to the state's politics.
Akhilesh has blamed the Adityanath government for taking the credit for projects launched during his regime. Adityanath has responded by saying that "some people build castles in the air and are day dreaming".
Akhilesh then mounted an attack on BJP's saffron policies and said that while the BJP knows only one colour, his palette has various colours -- a reference to different parties which are in alliance with the SP.
As the countdown for next year's Assembly elections begins, the war of words between the ruling party and the SP, which is emerging as a major challenger, is intensifying.
Real and core issues related to development are, unfortunately, taking a back seat in Uttar Pradesh.
( 478 Words)